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IPL 2024, PBKS vs RR Strategic Corner - RR's Plan To Stop The Shashank-Ashutosh Show

Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma will be crucial for PBKS [AP Photos]Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma will be crucial for PBKS [AP Photos]

The Rajasthan Royals are preparing for a pivotal encounter with the Punjab Kings in the 27th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2024). After a series of home matches, the Royals are set for a challenging away game at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur. This high-stakes match, crucial for both teams, is scheduled for April 13th at 7:30 PM IST. 

The Royals have been playing brilliant cricket in this tournament. They won their first four matches and made a strong start to the tournament. However, there has been a bit of a dip in their momentum as they lost the previous game against the Gujarat Titans. The Royals will be eager to win the game and return to the winning ways as quickly as possible. 

The Punjab Kings, the opposition for the Royals, have had their share of struggles with the top order in IPL 2024. However, Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma have emerged as formidable forces for them in the lower middle order. The Royals are well aware of this, and they face a significant challenge in strategizing to contain these two power hitters or dismiss them early. Let's delve into how these two have batted in the tournament and devise a game plan for RR while bowling to them. 

Plan against Shashank Singh

Shashank Singh Scoring Chart

Strike Rate
Strike Rate
Outside Off Stump197.87Full Toss200.00
Off Stump236.35Yorker66.66
Middle Stump100.00Full Length264.28
Leg Stump142.85Good Length120.83
--Short Length225.00

The run-scoring chart of Shashank Singh shows us that he enjoys the ball around and outside the off stump. He has been relly lethal when the ball has been pitched up. This shows that whenever the bowlers have missed the yorker length against him, Shashank Singh has taken full advantage of it. 

Pitch Map against Shashank Singh [OneCricket]Pitch Map against Shashank Singh [OneCricket]

The stats indicate that the ideal area for Shashank would be on the stumps and around the good-length area with continuous variations in pace. The bowlers cannot go short or full against him; if they do, then the bowlers should be ready to be destroyed by Shashank.  

Ashutosh Sharma Scoring Chart

Strike Rate
Strike Rate
Outside Off Stump196.87Full Toss225.00
Off Stump50Yorker0
--Full Length166.66
Good Length
Short Length

 A look at the stats of Ashutosh Sharma’s scoring areas gives us the idea that so far, the bowlers have tried to bowl yorkers outside the off stump at him. But it has been futile for the bowlers as he enjoys that width, and missing the length by a margin means playing into his hands. Ashutosh has been dismissed once in IPL 2024, and that, too, was on a good length delivery while he was trying to go big. So, in this case, too, it seems the bowlers will be better suited if they stay within the stumps and keep altering their pace while being in the good length area. 

The slowers and cutters might just do the trick for the RR pacers against this duo, especially on the Mullanpur wicket. From what we have seen so far of the RR bowling, Avesh Khan might be their best weapon against this powerful duo if he keeps hitting the right line and length and uses his variations in pace cleverly.